Taiwan has invited Chinese veterinarians to assist in the treatment of a male panda who has become critically ill.
Beijing gave the giant panda known as Tuan Tuan and his breeding mate Yuan Yuan to Taiwan in 2008.
However, the 18-year-old bear’s condition has gotten worse, and zookeepers in Taiwan believe he may have a brain tumor.
Taiwan has asked mainland Chinese vets to assist with Tuan Tuan’s evaluation as he transitions into end-of-life care.
Although the two pandas’ names together signify “reunion” or “unity,” an allusion to Beijing’s aim to one day reabsorb Taiwan, they were donated during a time when relations between the neighbors were friendlier.
Since then, ties between China and Taiwan, which Beijing sees as a renegade province, have deteriorated.
The vets’ arrival date is unknown, although Taiwanese officials claimed to be processing their visa requests.
Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan have gained enormous popularity in Taiwan since their arrival.